Letter Opposing H.R. 5351, the "Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2008"
February 26, 2008
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation representing more than three million businesses and organizations of every size, sector, and region, strongly opposes H.R. 5351, the "Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2008," expected to be considered by the full House this week.
This legislation singles out the oil and gas industry for punitive tax treatment. The Chamber opposes any denial or limitation of the section 199 deduction for oil and gas companies. This change would discourage energy investment, result in the loss of jobs, and ultimately, decrease supply and increase energy costs for businesses that rely on oil and gas.
The Chamber also opposes the proposed modification of the foreign tax credit rules for oil and gas companies. This modification would increase the taxes these companies pay on foreign earnings and potentially would expose them to double taxation, both of which would place these companies at a competitive disadvantage to foreign oil and gas manufacturers.
Today, petroleum products and other fossil fuels constitute 86 percent of the nation's energy mix. While there are many promising energy alternatives, they are not yet economically viable replacements. Even assuming their development and increased efficiency, the United States will continue to rely on these traditional energy sources.
The reality is that oil and gas are necessities for the nation's economic well being. The Chamber strongly urges you to oppose this bill. The Chamber may consider votes on, or in relation to, this issue in our annual How They Voted scorecard.
R. Bruce Josten